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DMX controller recommendations.

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markie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: DMX controller recommendations.
    Posted: 30 December 2008 at 12:27pm
I want to put a small lighting rig together just for pub bands. I have 4 LED PAR56 which I want to put onto a single stand/T bar. The lights have a controller built in but on sound to light setting the effect is a bit frantic.
 
Would like something with a chase pattern that can be music activated, so the lamps can be set to different colours and go thru the sequence in time with whatever's playing.
 
So, I want a simple, easy to use  controller (Simple is essential for me). Ideally one that actually mounts on the T bar.......... or indeed I believe some are actually built in to the T bar.
 
Any recommendations????????? or anyone selling something suitable????
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norty303 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote norty303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2008 at 1:34pm
For what its worth, I've found most soumnd to light functions on desks to be pretty poor.  The good ones are on the Pulsar Masterpiece which has 4 way bands which can be assigned, and on things like the Chamsys music input interface.
 
Most lighting operators will use a tap-to-time function rather than a music input on any more serious desk as its much more dependable.
 
If you want a cheapy lighting desk than just pick one with the functions you need and then try and modify the input by addng a filter for the bass.  Unfortunately most of them need (but don't have) a release on the audio input, meaning they tend to trigger lots of steps every bass/kick hit rather than just one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djtuffer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2008 at 3:47pm
I use this one and it isn't bad.  Not bad a detecting the beats. 
 
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norty303 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote norty303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2008 at 4:14pm
I used to have one of those, not bad for £100.  One of the cheaper units to offer soft patching of channels to faders.  Terrible to program and use i found (compared to todays modern desks)
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markie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2008 at 11:25pm
This is the kind of thing I think would suit. Anyone used one?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ceharden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2008 at 11:54pm
That bar is designed for dimming and chasing generic lights rather than LED fixtures which only need 'hot' power and a DMX control signal.

There does seem to be a lack of basic, easy to use lighting controlers for things like LED cans.

Incidentally the best sound to light sensing in a cheap unit I've used is a Club40 ancient 4 channel PAR can chaser.  Without an audio signal the speed control works as normal but when you add the audio signal, the speed control selects the speed of the chase relative to the beat.  ie every beat or even between down to once every 4 or 8 beats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Moller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 December 2008 at 11:55pm
OK, you need something to control those LED things via DMX right ?..

The Thomann item you found is a dimmerpack shaped as a T-bar and will not work with your LED par things..

There are a few options available within a reasonable pricerange:

1: If the DMX layout on your cans is the same as the layout on the Elation stuff:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/elation_led_operator.htm

2:http://www.thomann.de/gb/stairville_djx_16_dmx_controller.htm

3: Borrow a lighting desk from someone and get one of these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/botex_sd10.htm

#3 is nearly idiot proof, but not very flexible

Give me a shout if you need specific help..

/p
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote monkeypuzzle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2008 at 4:10pm
The reason there isn't a generic system to control LED cans is that the dmx channels are rarely in the same order and the controller needs to know what make/model is plugged into it and its dmx address. If you just want flashing colours in time to the music, 4 par standard 56 cans with gels in them are hard to beat. They take more power but will always give you a much brighter stage and much richer colours. I've always found the cheap led pars good for nothing much more than uplighting architectually. Almost any system you buy that controls via dmx will need programing rather than being plug and play. this can be useful but again, most cheap systems are a pain to work with. If you want to continue down this route and have a laptop, the chamsys software that norty mentioned is ace, i'm not sure whether you can use the input on your laptop as a sound source but contact them and they'll know. The software is free to download and with a usb adaptor that you can buy from maplin for £60 you get the power of a desk that retails at over £8k. This leaves plenty of room for adding a moving head or twenty if the venue has them.

Hhhmmm, just re-read your post and think the standard parcan option could be the best. I don't think you'll find anything that is simple. If you do though. let me know, would be useful to know.
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norty303 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote norty303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 December 2008 at 4:36pm
Unfortunately, one of the features that is disabled until you buy some specific Chamsys hardware is the audio input (and Execute window)  Cheapest is to buy one of their DMX or audio interfaces but they're still not cheap.  Their audio interface is very good though with multi band detection.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mk2_ginger_biscuit69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2009 at 4:24pm
nothing a downloadable crack wont fix Wink.
 
i just use freestyle dmx now, its so user friendly, and easy for anyone too use. ive found for small simple shows, theres just no need to have a virtual desk.
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norty303 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote norty303 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2009 at 6:16pm
Hmm, I wouldn't have thought Chamsys was a big enough distro to attract the attentions of the crackers...  I'll have to check the P2P's tonight
 
Is this something you know of specifically, or just speculation/wishful thinking?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tvi675 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2009 at 4:32pm
Originally posted by mk2_ginger_biscuit69 mk2_ginger_biscuit69 wrote:

nothing a downloadable crack wont fix Wink.


Although something that we would take a very dim and very strong legal view against!

It is possible to use your computer's sound card for sound to light functionality, however you do need a piece of our hardware connected over USB to activate this function. Why? Well, we give you 18 universes of DMX, media and LED control with impressive functionality for nothing so it's only fair to shell out a few hundred to get an Audio Interface that will do the job properly and pay our wages!

Regards,

Matt Lemon
ChamSys Ltd
Matt Lemon - matt@chamsys.co.uk
ChamSys Ltd - www.chamsys.co.uk
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